Sunday, March 15, 2009

Versailles

Today was Stake Conference in Versailles.

The Stake Center in Versailles isn't actually big enough to hold the whole stake. The stake center in my parents' stake isn't either, but the stake has two other buildings they can run the audio and video to so everyone can participate. Here, there isn't that luxury.

So instead, the Church rents (?? -- I'm guessing they have to pay) the Palais des Congres in Versailles right next to the Palace of Versailles.

While I was waiting for the train this morning, a woman approached me and asked me if I knew much about the train system. It turns out that she was American, and she and her friend were both headed to Stake Conference as well! They weren't familiar with the train system, and I had taken this line to Versailles a couple of times before, so we all found our way together.

What a charming pair of women. Seriously. They were so nice, and both really interesting. I found myself talking way too much (more on that later), but they were so nice I couldn't help myself. Have you ever done that? I even knew I was talking too much and in my mind I was saying, "How rude are you? Stop talking for 5 seconds, okay?" But there was apparently no stopping me.

I find myself doing this a lot when I have the chance to sit down and speak with anyone that has a relatively high level of English skills. I sometimes feel like a kinked garden hose throughout the week--I have so many thoughts, stories, and emotions to share that I can't express adequately in French. All of these unexpressed thoughts and emotions well up inside me and just have nowhere to go because of this language barrier. So when I am finally around someone who will understand everything I have to say, it's like the kink comes out of the garden hose and the poor, unsuspecting Anglophone has to sit through the onslaught.

But I digress...
Stake Conference was incredible. I loved the talks and I really felt the Spirit testifying truths to me and prompting me to make certain changes and adjustments in my life.

After Stake Conference ended these ladies invited me to tag along with them to wander through the grounds of Versailles for a bit. I've been meaning to go there for a while, and since it was such a gorgeous day today, I thought it would be the perfect day to snap some pictures.

Alas, none of us were wearing good shoes, so a quick trip to the Orangerie was all we did. But I did manage to get a few pictures snapped before my feet began to protest.

And believe me, these are nowhere near the most beautiful parts of the grounds. Nowhere. Near.


The front gate to the palace and grounds.


View of part of the palace through the front gate.

The ginormous staircase in the sky. (Also the staircase that goes down from the main level at the back of the palace down to the orangerie.)


Manicured rows of trees.


The sad and dead-looking Orangerie and part of the palace. (Remember, it is just the beginning of Spring here, so the grass is still struggling a bit.)

I want a garden like this one. Wouldn't it be fun to play Fox and Geese on a "lawn" like this?

5 comments:

Denise said...

You were a blessing and likely an answer to prayers to those two women. It sounds like such fun to spend a Sunday there. Were the foundations playing?

Sarah said...

The fountains weren't playing, unfortunately. I think they begin the first weekend in April. So I'll be going back some other weekend to take some more pictures and enjoy the grounds for a little longer. (Likely with better shoes, and possibly with a rented golf cart). :)

amykaniggit said...

Let's go! When I come, and rent a golf cart on a sunday. I still have not seen the fountains running. It sounds like a lovely day. I'm sure they were enchanted, and so happy to meet you!

Erin said...

I lost your blog address for a few days...but I finally found it.

You are an excellent writer! And it was so good to get to know you. I certainly didn't think you talked too much. It was a pleasure getting to know you. Isn't it ironic that we both came halfway around the world to find someone from practically the same hometown?

Your pics are beautiful too. I'm sure my point-and-click will not give any justice to the beauty of Versailles.

Jess said...

Those are great pictures; those gardens are inspiring.